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Popular TV shows like Intervention and Dr. Phil would have us believe that people always change for the better when confronted. This simply isn’t true.
I’ve turned down a lot of jobs as an interventionist. When you’re on the outside looking in, you have an objective view of what people’s expectations are and can contrast them to what’s likely to happen.
Real Intervention Isn't Like TV
I’ve spoken to too many families that were inspired by watching shows like Intervention and Dr. Phil. These shows would have us believe that people always change for the better when confronted. This simply isn’t true.
Sometimes folks just bolt. Other times they deflect or attack the character or behavior of those who confront them. Family intervention scenarios can devolve quickly and leave well meaning (but ill prepared) folks feeling like they’ve failed. A well conceived and executed intervention never fails in the sense that the addict understands that people gathered out of concern and at the very least, a seed has been planted.
The jobs I’m most likely to take are ones where the family is hopeful but is not expecting huge changes from the active addict. Rather, they seek clarity and demonstrate a willingness to explore how they may need to change. This requires intervention preparation and a willingness to identify ways in which (well intentioned as it may have been) we’ve protected our loved one from the natural consequences of their actions.
As counter-intuitive as it may seem, I urge folks to apologize for the ways in which they have enabled and to develop resolve regarding what they are and are not willing to do in the future. They are then free to express clear boundaries to their loved one regarding what they can anticipate moving forward. This must be done holistically. It can be painful to consider removing basic need fulfillment (food, shelter) but to not do so is to rob the addict of motivation for change.
Cohesion is Vital
The most effective interventions I’ve done were with family and friends who presented a truly unified front. They put aside other conflicts in favor of what they could all agree on. A good interventionist knows that divisiveness creates opportunities for splitting. If an active addict or alcoholic can pit folks against each other they will. Deflecting attention toward other conflicts is the most efficient means by which to avoid taking responsibility for themselves.
The Elephant Needs Naming
One of the most common mistakes that people make in addiction intervention is walking on eggshells. They’re so afraid of upsetting the addict that they speak in euphemisms. They express concerns that something bad will happen instead of saying, “I’m afraid that you will die.” Honest and direct statements of concern are far more beneficial. Subtleties lend themselves to being minimized and rationalized away.
"Shame On You"
While I encourage honest expressions of emotion, I strenuously object to guilt tripping or shaming an active alcoholic or addict. In the best of circumstances, it’s redundant. Active addicts already have excessive amounts of shame and guiltthat are alternately repressed and overwhelming. The predictable responses to shame are either defensiveness and/or to shut down emotionally, neither of which support the mission of an intervention.
It’s vital that we allow folks to speak for themselves. If we say, “Look what you’re doing to mom!” , then we’re speaking for her and guilting the addict. I urge folks to use “I statements.” Talking about self (my feelings, wants, needs) does not as readily trigger defensiveness. When we say to our loved one, “You…”, there’s a far greater likelihood that their walls come up.
No Carrot, No Stick
Successful interventions do not include ultimatums, threats, or coercion of any kind. Nor do they include incentives, rewards, or bribes. If support is to be offered, it’s reasonable to place conditions relating to your loved one being clean/sober (Example: "I will only meet with you when you’re not using"). It’s important to consider measures that ensure personal safety if there is a history or indications of potential for violence (I will meet with you in public places).
Set clear limits as to what is being offered. Offer the invitation without expectation that it will be accepted. Attempting to force a course of action or attempting to manipulate a person into getting sober is guaranteed to fail.
Leave the Door Open
I encourage folks to choose ahead of time what lines of communication they will leave open. Things said in anger or haste during an intervention potentially result in severed ties.
If future contact will be allowed, how will it be welcomed? Get specific: email, text, phone, in person... Under what circumstances? Contingencies: After a set period of time, once they’ve entered treatment, anytime they’re sober, when they want to go to a meeting, or other stipulation that works for your family.
2-2 -18 Twelve Stepping with Spiritual Support From Scripture
Psalm 10 v 17
Lord you know the hopes of the helpless.Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.
( GODS BIG BOOK)
STEP 3 - Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as revealed in the Bible.
Helpless is the place we need to be ! Living life our away separate from God has made us helpless .We have made such a mess of doing it our way ,that making things right again are impossible on our own. Another words we must be broken, and at the end of self ,desperate to escape the nightmare we call life. Guilt,, shame, fear, anxiety, and worry could be an end to your life prematurely ! In my life the worse these things became the more I used but there was never enough to get it all to go away. Broken ,beaten, and desperate is where I found God . What I discovered the hard way ,was God had a plan for me long before I was born! His plan did't include addiction,criminal activity, depression ,divorce, being an absentee father or a rebellious Son! If you are truly broken and sincere , God will supernaturally hear from Heaven and command His Angels to help you find your way,transform you from the inside out ,and restore a hundredfold of all you lost.
By Joseph Dickerson/Recovery Connections Need Help email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Psalm 103v3 He forgives all my sins and Heals all my diseases!
Later this month a new group of hurting and broken young men and women will arrive here at His Mansion.
February 2018 Newsletter
Jackie spent the first few months of her life in an orphanage before she was adopted. "Public sentiments about orphans were negative," she remembers. "In our community, I was a target for mean and sexual behavior."
Jackie's parents divorced when she was nine. Insecure and guilt-ridden, she began drinking a few years later, followed by drugs. "It was never about just having a drink and being with friends; I drank to black out at an early age."
Today’s teens are growing up in an environment with pressures, stress and priorities vastly different from when we were their age. If you’re concerned that your son or daughter might be using drugs or alcohol — or if you know they are — it’s important that we, as parents, consider why. Some teens turn to drugs and alcohol for a variety of reasons, like fitting in, socializing, experiencing life transitions, or dealing with emotional and psychological pain. Here’s why it’s important for you to recognize why kids might be drawn to substances and what you can do about it.
• If there is a history of addiction in your family, if your child has mental health or behavioral issues, has suffered trauma or has impulse control problems, then your child has a much greater risk of developing a substance use problem. Be aware of these elevated risks and discuss it with your child regularly, as you would with any disease.
Bipolar Disorder Tore My Life Apart: Here’s How I Put It Back Together | The Fix: Over the last six and a half years, I’ve found that my life has been catapulted into the deepest, darkest depths of despair, only to find myself emerging more resilient, hopeful, and grounded than ever before. In 2011, I had just turned 30, and my life was starting to look like I had always imagined it would as a little girl growing up in Connecticut.
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